Sexual and Reproductive Health
Our research focuses on the many aspects of sexual and reproductive health care from use of contraception and the prevention of sexually transmitted infections to pregnancy planning and healthcare before and after pregnancy. Whether in the UK or Africa, our research aims to help women have children by choice, rather than chance and to improve women's health across the life course.
To improve evidence based sexual and reproductive health (SRH) care through excellence in research, training, service enhancement and knowledge transfer
Key Objectives are to:
- Conduct SRH research with an impact on clinical and public health practice and policy through multidisciplinary collaboration and engagement of patients and the public
- Contribute to knowledge transfer and promote evidence-based practice and policy locally, nationally and globally
- Increase research capacity through academic support and training in SRH research skills
Our current research portfolio falls under the following themes:
Good maternal and paternal health before conception is increasingly recognised as important for the health of pregnant women and future generations. We are working in a number of areas of preconception care, from exploring levels and sources of knowledge and information of pre-pregnancy care to practises and beliefs prior to conception.
The importance of contraception knowledge, access and availability is vital for reproductive health. Our research aims to understand and optimise effective use of contraceptive methods, particularly in populations at greatest risk of unintended pregnancy. Our partner reproductive health clinic, Margaret Pyke Centre supports our research in contraception and sexual reproductive health. Most recently we have worked on long-acting-reversible contraception methods.
Our research on sexually transmitted infections has been long standing and influenced the national chlamydia screening initiative. We recently conducted the largest prevalence study of Mycoplasma genitalium infection in the United Kingdom, showing it is a relatively common infection affecting 1 in 30 women attending sexual health clinics. Other research has assessed the prevalence and determinants of HIV and STI among male migrants in India.
In a concept paper that formed the cornerstone of the RCOG’s report on the future of women’s health care (High Quality Women’s Healthcare RCOG 2011), we considered the rationale for a life course approach to women’s health care and the implications for health service delivery.
As part of the Reproductive Health group’s expanding international work, we have a programme of research aimed at identifying ways to reduce poor maternal and neonatal outcomes in low-resource settings.